How To Soundproof Your Floors

Soundproof FloorSoundproofing your floors is an excellent way to quell echoes and loud distractions in your home.  Whether you have kids running around upstairs, or a dog barking in the back yard, soundproofing your floors will help to suppress sounds from all over and make for a more enjoyable living experience.  

In a home or apartment, sounds are amplified through dry wall, wood framing, air ducts, and (believe it or not) ceiling lighting.  Here, we’ll explain the process of soundproofing your flooring and an alternative solution to do-it-yourself. 

The best time to install soundproofing materials in a floor is when the house or apartment is being built.  This technique requires layers of insulation, drywall, and other filling to be installed in between the joists, before the ceiling below is installed.  This method is advanced, expensive, and requires thoughtful planning.  For this reason, this type of soundproofing is reserved for special buildings and typically left to the professionals.

However, there are still a few techniques you can choose to reduce the sounds in your home.  The first, and maybe the cheapest, would be installing carpet.  Carpet naturally absorbs more sound vibrations, whereas wood amplifies them.  This is a perfect solution if you want to reduce upstairs noise but don’t want to go through the longer process.   

Another option would be to add more sound absorbing layers underneath your flooring.  If you’re installing new laminate floors, this would be a perfect time to add the soundproofing materials underneath it. 

These materials include:

·       A floating chipboard floor

·       Acoustic mat

·       Laminate flooring underlayment – make sure to buy the laminate flooring with this option.

·       Acoustic underlayment

The order of the layers, starting from the bottom, is:

1.    The floorboards – these are already installed and will be the base for your soundproofing

2.    The acoustic underlayment – this overlaps onto the wall to create a strong seal

3.    The acoustic mat itself

4.    The floating chipboard flooring

5.    The laminate flooring underlayment

6.    The laminate flooring itself

7.    And finally, the molding to surround the room and further seal out sounds. 

If you would like, there is the option to insulate carpet floorings as well.  For this, you’ll need:

·       Tackless stripping

·       Acoustic mat

·       Acoustic underlayment

·       Furring strips

Install the furring strips around the perimeter of the floor over the existing floorboards.  Lay down the acoustic underlayment and acoustic mat in between the furring strips, and right up against them.  Next, attach the tackless strips to the furring strips to lay the carpet down.  Install any molding to seal the open edges. 

These two options are certainly doable and an easier fix for sound in your home.  To further reduce noises, you can isolate any structural element by using acoustic sealants or flanking tapes or strips.  You can also seal the edges of walls and floors to stop sounds from traveling room to room. 

The possibilities are truly endless for the types of soundproofing that you might want in your home.  This article is only intended as a guide, but there are certainly other options that may better suit your situation. Either way, making these little changes might be enough to make living in your home a little more peaceful.